Rangers’ top prospect Sean Day has made a habit out of creating end-to-end rushes in the OHL, and on Thursday one resulted in a highlight reel goal.
It was a bit of a rough start to the season for Day. Mikhail Sergachev graduating to the Tampa Bay Lightning means that Day is now the clear-cut top defenseman for the Windsor Spitfire, and the expectation was that he would take the OHL by storm. While I contemplated whether Day would play in the AHL or OHL this season, an OHL executive reached out to me to say he hoped it was AHL so that his team wouldn’t have to face him anymore.
But in the first six games of the season, Day put up no goals and three assists in six games; very timid numbers for a 19-year-old of his caliber. He has picked up up since, though, with seven goals in the next six. And he is playing key minutes for a Windsor team that has defied expectations of a rebuilding season and ranks among the best in the OHL.
I spoke to Spitfires goaltender Michael DiPietro for a separate article I wrote for Sporting News, and I asked him about Day. He made a great point to me about Day’s tendency to go for high-risk, high-reward plays such as on this goal.
“If he tries to make the extra play, and it doesn’t work out, he’s the first one back on the backcheck,” DiPietro said.
It’s true, and it’s going to be an important aspect of his game going forward. His workrate and skating ability allows him to recover and negate mistakes. In the minds of coaches, that will help to justify the risks he takes to make plays.